As I was shopping in Huntington on Small Business Saturday to support the local merchants, I was struck by how much these entrepreneurs and small business owners give back to their local community with almost little or no fanfare. Aside from the fact that small business owners create two out of three jobs each year, small businesses also support local charities, programs and each other. It made me stop and think the last time I not only appreciated the good deeds of an entrepreneur, but thanked them for their efforts.
For example, Francine’s Fashion Boutique has a yearly fashion show each December where clients can come and mingle and look at the seasons’ newest designs. Her event is completely supported by her fellow Huntington merchants, donating everything from balloons to raffles to snacks. Other merchants put up each other’s flyers in their windows and support their events.
Taking it a step further, it’s the small businesses and entrepreneurs that ban together with charities to become drop off sites for everything from coat drives to food centers to toy donations, that host wrapping parties for Toys For Tots and fundraisers for local food banks. Networking organizations request a non perishable food product be brought to their holiday outing or ask that gift cards be purchased to adopt local families in need. Just take a look at your favorite charity’s local chapter to see the small businesses and entrepreneurs that have lined up behind their cause in support.
Does this sound like a great idea to you? Ask your employer or your staff if they’d like to get involved and find a local charity. At this time of year, most charities see a surge in demand and they’ll be grateful for your support. And, the next time you see the owner of your favorite shop, restaurant or bookstore, make sure to say thanks for all their hard work. They’ll appreciate the gesture.